Little Bit of Oxidants Can Actually Be Healthy

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Our Saturday green news brings you the latest on health, parenting and cool baby and kid products:autism, kids and playgrounds

  • Little bit of oxidants can actually be healthy: Although for many years there has been a focus on  health benefits of antioxidants, new research indicates that it might not be the antioxidants that are good for us but the stress that plants cause our body, in the form of a little bit of “poison”. As Dr. Philip Hooper, an endocrinologist at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus explained: “Everybody thinks oxidation is bad, and that antioxidants are good. That’s bogus. A little bit of poison is good. Yes, your body needs a little bit of poison and stress. That stress comes courtesy of trace amounts of naturally occurring pesticides and anti-grazing compounds.” Some of these substances are very well known to us as the hot flavors in spices, the mouth-puckering tannins in wines, or the stink of Brussels sprouts. They represent the antibacterials, antifungals, and grazing deterrents of the plant world. And in the right amount, these slightly noxious substances helping plants to survive-can make us stronger. actually, oxidants themselves might be good for us despite the great publicity of antioxidants.  Toren Finkel, chief of the center for molecular medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland noted: “Oxidants may be a primordial messenger of stress in our cells, and a little bit of stress, it turns out, may be good for us.”
  • Playgrounds can help autistic kids socialize: Although children’s playgrounds provide a great opportunity for most young kids to develop social skills and interaction among each other, for kids with autism (approximately 1 in 68 children), playgrounds can actually have the reverse affect and cause distress. A new research from Vanderbilt University indicates that playgrounds can actually be used to help autistic children to socialize, just like other children.
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